There are three skin care steps that we all should be doing, no matter how old we are and what our skin is like: cleansing, moisturizing and wearing sunscreen.
- Cleansing – There is no need to go expensive with your cleanser. If you have acne-prone, oily or combination skin, look for a gel cleanser. Those of us with normal or dry skin should use a creamy cleanser. If you have sensitive skin, try ZENMED's Facial Cleansing Gel. Wash morning and night (we love facial cleansing cloths for night) and reassess your skin as the seasons change.
- Moisturizing –When you wash your skin, you strip it of the natural oils needed to maintain supple, healthy skin. Adding moisturizer right after you wash your face is a must. Look for a moisturizer that is meant for your skin type and apply after each washing.
- Sunscreen – There isn’t a single person reading this article that isn’t in need of sunscreen every day. Sunburn, sun cancer and aging skin are all reasons to apply and reapply throughout the day. If you want to have younger looking skin, sunscreen is the #1 way to get it.
From then on, it gets a little decade-specific. Here is a brief overview of each decade with a link to a full article of tips for each.
Teens – The dreaded four letter word in the teen years is acne. There are so many myths on why you get acne and many kids just don’t know how to treat their acne or if they should treat their acne at all.
If you have oily skin, look for skin care products that have ingredients such as salicylic acid, benzyl-peroxide, clay or tea tree oil which are known acne fighters. Keep your fingers off your face (no picking, squeezing or popping!) and let a spot treatments do the work for you. They can greatly shorten the length of your pimple.
20’s – Many of you are still fighting acne, but some of you are seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. Enjoy the best stage you’ll have when it comes to your skin and kick your sunscreen use into high gear if you want to continue to have that good skin into your 30’s.
Most people in their 20’s can get by with a simple routine of cleanser, moisturizer, sunscreen and a once-weekly exfoliation. No need to start using anti-aging products at this age. Your sunscreen is the only one you need.
30’s – This is the decade where most of us will notice our first early signs of aging. And when we notice them, most of us dash to the skin care products made for aging skin which can actually cause many of us to backtrack into the acne stage. Calm down, grab your sunscreen and make some smart skin choices.
Cleanse, moisturize, sunscreen and exfoliate. You can now start exfoliating twice a week, as exfoliating will slough off dead skin cells, revealing young, new skin at the surface. You can use a manual exfoliator or a chemical one with ingredients like AHA’s which evenly and easily get rid of dead skin cells.
40’s – Now’s the time to look closely at the skin care products you are using and find the ones that will give you the most bang for your buck in terms of ingredients. Look for anti-aging superstar ingredients such as peptides and retinol/retinoids which will make a noticeable difference in your skin.
Talk to your dermatologist for specific skin care questions and in-office procedures that can help your skin stay in great shape. And just as every decade, how much you pay attention to sun protection will be visible in your 50’s in ways such as wrinkles and sun spots. Slather it on!
50’s – Many women enter menopause in their 50’s and with menopause come crazy hormone fluctuations that can cause all sorts of skin problems – from acne (what?) to flushed skin and hair loss to excess facial hair, sometimes you feel like your skin is a mess.
If you think it’s time to head to the dermatologist to fight back with professional skin care ingredients, you’ll be rewarded with your visit. Prescriptions such as retinol, in-office procedures such as lasers and injectables or simply just talking about product lines that have been shown effective are all great reasons to visit your dermatologist.
Make sure you’re doing skin checks for any mole or skin change that you see. One in five people will have skin cancer in their life. And don’t forget to do the monthly breast checks for anything suspicious.